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Stephen_Ramsey

How to get to Curry Gap?

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Anyone have any suggestions on how to get to Curry Gap, this time of year? I called the USFS and they told me that the North Fork Skykomish road is gated at Troublesome Creek, much too far to walk to the Quartz Creek trailhead. Is it accessible via the PCT? If so, how far would it be to get there?

 

Thanks for any information.

 

-Steve

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It's much too far from the PCT (PCT is six miles to the east), which itself is pretty much inaccessible up in that area right now.

 

Excluding the Quartz Creek approach, you can try and get there from Sloan Creek Road (another access issue, I'm sure). The distance to Curry Gap from this (the north) side is about the same as Quartz Creek.

 

Why do you want to go there at this time of year?

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If you were willing to ski the road from Troublesome Creek, Goblin Peak might be a more doable winter scramble. It's over 10 miles, though.

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stepehen to get to keyes you can go in thru blanca lake. the route is all in the trees and would be fairly avalanche safe. tho you will have to stop at troublesome creek. tho that road is really low, so unless there is a major dump recently it could prolly be passed by a 4x4 with some safe effort.

 

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CBS and I did a carry over from Quartz Creek over Kyes earlier this summer and tried to descend that way. I've heard it's a scramble up from Blanca Lake, but we found it super cliffy coming down the other direction and just got lucky finding a gulley that went all the way down to the lake. Just beware, the routefinding may be challenging. If you make it, report back and tell us how it went. bigdrink.gif

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ACTUALLY TOAST..FROM THAT CRAPPY LITTLE POND RIGHT B4 YOU DROP INTO BLANCA THERE IS A WELL MARKED CLIMBERS TRAIL ALL THE WAY TO THE SUMMIT. WE WENT UP COLUMBIA AND TRAVERESED AROUND KYES AND CAME OUT THAT WAY...MADE FOR AN EXCELLENT CHOSSY LOOP!

 

 

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Yep, i noticed that on the map and on the way out. However, coming off the top and walking along the ridge, I didn't see it as practical to keep going that way. The scramble path probably made more sense going the other way and likely undercut out path... we simply missed the intersection, go figure cantfocus.gif

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catbirdseat said:

If you were willing to ski the road from Troublesome Creek, Goblin Peak might be a more doable winter scramble. It's over 10 miles, though.

Goblin's summit is an interesting bouldering scramble. Might be even more fun in winter conditions! bigdrink.gif

 

Here's a picture of it.

From a distance, Goblin Mountain is visible in foreground-right in this photo.

 

Special note: Kyes Peak used to be known as Goblin Peak prior to 1946. In 1946 the mountain was renamed for Monte Cristo resident James Ellsworth Kyes, a naval officer who heroically gave up his own life by giving a cabinboy his life vest when their destroyer Leary was sinking in the North Atlantic.

Edited by klenke

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Toast-

Did you descend directly off the summit, or first follow the ridge to a sub-peak perhaps a quarter mile to the south? I looked at it from a commercial jet once, and I think there may be a good ski run there (though cliffy at the bottom).

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Stephen,

 

Heinz and I climbed Kyes a number winters ago via Quartz Creek. We approached up the North Fork Road out of Index. We camped a little ways up Quartz Cr. the first night, climbed Kyes and back the second day, and skied out on the 3rd day. Pretty nice winter trip if you get some decent conditions. We used a cheap sled on the road, and AT skies.

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mattp said:

Toast-

Did you descend directly off the summit, or first follow the ridge to a sub-peak perhaps a quarter mile to the south? I looked at it from a commercial jet once, and I think there may be a good ski run there (though cliffy at the bottom).

 

We did descend from the minor peak to the south but only to traverse beneath it and regain the ridge. That was our mistake. I believe the more traditional (and advised) descent route would have been to proceed down to the Columbia Glacier. My guess is it'd be great skiing.

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There are cliffs to watch out for, but if you know the right way to go you can avoid them. The trick is to stay right coming down the west face along a minor ridge (keep on your right). Before you get cliffed out you traverse right and even climb a little until you reach a talus slope that allows you to decend to the glacier.

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Stephen_Ramsey said:

Bummer. I was thinking it might be a nice winter scramble.

 

Anyhow, thanks for the information.

When I was speaking of DEEP SNOW, I was talking about right now, not what conditions might be like in the middle of winter or late winter. I agree that it would be a good winter scramble if you could get to it in a reasonable amount of time. If the snow consolidates and trekking in on AT skis, etc. is amenable to travel, then go for it.

 

I would like to point out that on the lower NE Ridge of Kyes (points east of Quartz Lake's longitude) there are a few crags and notches that would require one to do steep downhilling and sidehilling to get around. One could attempt to approach the Upper NE Ridge by way of the Quartz Lake drainage. There are some steep cliffs immediately below the lake's outlet, but there is a timbered slope to climber's right.

 

Additionally, the South Ridge of Kyes also has some crags at about halfway. These would also require steep sidehilling to get around on the east side (the west side is cliff). I'm not saying it would be impossible, just that it would not be a walk in the ridge park.

 

I don't know anything about the Blanca Lake approach.

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